Department of Family & Community Partnerships → Study Circles  → Stories → Rosa Sanchez

What I learned in Study Circles on Student Achievement

I was invited to join the study circle by a friend. I didn't know what it was. I wasn't sure how much I was going   to study.

They used big words like achievement gap ( brecha de éxito escolar ), which just means that Hispanics and Blacks don't get as good grades as Asians and Whites. We talked about what each of us feels like at school, what we wanted for our kids, and because of that, we made friends.

I've learned from study circles that it's worth it to stick it out ( vale la pena quedarse hasta el fin ). I learned not to be intimidated by people who seem important to me, like teachers, or people who went to college. I learned that my opinion was just as important as theirs, and they wanted to listen to it.

I learned that the problems Hispanics had were different from those of other groups — Africans had problems, African Americans had others, Jewish people had others, people who had two moms and no dads had others, but we were able to learn about each other and try to help each other out. I found out that I could do things that I didn't feel comfortable doing before.

I started to organize meetings and got more involved. I started to ask questions to my kids' teachers and I even talked to a secretary who I used to think was mean to ask her help to get rooms in the schools for the meetings. Now we get along fine.

Big problems like the achievement gap don't go away quickly. We have to work every day to be sure that our kids are getting the same thing out of school as other kids.need to learn about each other to do that, and my role is to help

by Rosa Sanchez, parent